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INTERTANKO Says Vessels at Risk in Gulf


Shailaja A. Lakshmi

The tanker association INTERTANKO condemned unprovoked attack against two tankers on innocent passage in international waters in the Gulf of Oman on Thursday 13 June.

The attacks on tankers in Straits of Hormuz unacceptably threatens the lives of innocent seafarers, the fragile environment of the region and the economies of the world, it said.

While damage was caused to two tankers, INTERTANKO is relieved that according to preliminary reports no seafarers were killed nor pollution detected. However until such can be categorically confirmed, our first priority as an industry is the safety of those seafarers.

The latest incidents saw two INTERTANKO Members' vessels suffer explosions at or below the waterline, in close proximity to the engine room while underway. These appeared to be well-planned and coordinated.

Dr Paolo d'Amico, chairman of INTERTANKO said: "Following two attacks on Member vessels this morning, I am extremely worried about the safety of our crews going through the Straits of Hormuz. We have people of every nationality and vessels of every flag transiting that crucial sea-lane every day."

Looking longer term, he added "We need to remember that some 30% of the world's crude oil passes through the Straits. If the waters are becoming unsafe, the supply to the entire Western world could be at risk."

Once again the international shipping industry finds itself caught in the middle of a geo-political conflict over which it has no control. Along with our colleagues around the world who represent the interests of the international shipping industry, we call on the nations of the world to calm tensions in the region and do everything possible to protect the lives of the seafarers who navigate this vital sea route for the benefit of all.

INTERTANKO's Marine Director, Dr Phillip Belcher said: "This is a reckless attack on innocent seafarers who are being used as pawns and proxies in response to wider conflict. These attacks could also have resulted in a major pollution incident and calm heads need to prevail. The industry is working very closely together with all stakeholders to provide operational advice and guidance."

"INTERTANKO condemns in the strongest possible way such acts which threaten not only innocent human life but the fragile environment of the region and global trade as a whole," it said.

Jun 13, 2019



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